After arriving at Gate 40, a United agent pointed all pax (arriving and transit) down to arrivals. Seeing how my next flight was not even on the FIDS, went to transfer desks at W1 which were empty. Walked down to E transfer desk, passed health screening where they monitor body temp of incoming pax, and made my way to the Asiana desk, which was also closed. At around 0615 an agent showed up at Asiana and after checking my reservation said United would have to make alternate arrangements as they issued the ticket. Unfortunately, United does not open until 0730 back at W1 which was a 10 min walk from Asiana. A United agent showed up precisely at 0730 and tried to reacommodate me, but had an incredible hard time in doing so. Asiana had one business seat left but couldn't be booked because I was travelling on an award ticket for this segment and was taking the booking class. Korean and Thai were overbooked in both J and Y and Cathay only had seats available on the last flight at 1630. He called Asiana and told he had to speak to the supervisor who was not due in until 1000, until then nothing could be done.
So off I go back to the main transit hall and found Pacific Coffee had opened up. Had to wait a while when some passengers tried to pay in Yen and was told Euros, USD or HKG $ was the only currency accepted and didnt quite understand why. Had a cafe mocha and passed time with another pax who was stranded from GUM and introduced me to a proper Oz breakfast: sausage roll. He told me United had problems with his ticket to SYD and he had to wait to 1000 also.
We headed back to United and the agent had everything worked out for us. Asiana released the last J seat to me and the other pax had seats later that nite for SYD, felt his pain as his flight didnt depart until 2200 that night.
Took the train back to the transit hall where we parted ways, me to Asiana and him streetside to explore Hong Kong. Asiana issued a boarding pass and directed me to departures. Again a very civilized experience through screening and entered departures level. Here even more so than NRT is a huge shopping mall with a even bigger food court, there is one restaurant that is set up a Chinese banquet venue. Almost every type of food is served in the food court and yes there are plenty of smoking lounges throughout.
Was given an invitation to use the CNAC VIP lounge. There were some snacks available-mainly dim sum and congee.
OZ 722 HKG-ICN 330 J
By the time I got to the gate, boarding was called. The gate was divided into two jetways: business and economy. Greeted on board and was offered water, OJ or champagne. Seats were 166 degree bed seat which was comfortable. When all the J pax were seated, the inflight manager greeted each pax by name and shook hands. Meal choice was beef or the Korean standby Bibimbap which is steamed rice and you mix in your veggies and meat together with chili paste. Asian style catering out of HKG is usually pretty good, but opted for the beef. Sorry but afterwards the flight was a blur as I was knocked out for the count and was awokened before final into ICN.
Again as in HKG two jetways in use.